Trader Joe’s is a cult-favorite grocery store–and for good reason. It’s not a typical grocery store and if you visit looking to find your favorite brands, you might end up leaving disappointed. Instead, Trader Joe’s offers high-quality groceries under their own brand name at outrageously low prices.
While you’ll certainly find staples like milk, eggs, fruit, and bread, the real magic of Trader Joe’s is the inventive and globally-inspired products you can’t find anywhere else, from frozen dishes to a wide selection of creative condiments and sauces.
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While the grocery store carries items from all over the world, some of the best products come from France–and are branded cheekily as Trader Jacques.
If you’re looking to put together a fabulous–and French-inspired–weekend brunch, look no further than TJ’s. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite French products–and how to use them to Frenchify your brunch.
The Ultimate Cheese Board
Trader Joe’s has a cheese selection that puts most grocery stores to shame, offering excellent cheeses from France, including Délice de Bourgogne, double crème Brie with truffles, fromage pavé, comté. If you’re looking to go beyond a cheeseboard, consider adding a cozy alpine vibe to your brunch with Trader Joe’s raclette, or heat up a creamy and decadent brie en croût.
There’s a wide selection of European-inspired cured meats available at Trader Joe’s, from plain sliced salami to their spicy uncured charcuterie collection. Round out your cheese and meat selection with their rich and earthy truffle salami and don’t forget to garnish your board with olives, dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate.
You can’t have a French-inspired brunch without a selection of pastries, and Trader Joe’s can deliver. To keep things simple, stock up on some light and fluffy pain au lait (either plain or chocolate chip) or a vegan brioche loaf and offer your guests an array of condiments and toppings. A good French salted butter and a selection of confitures are essential and you can satisfy sweet cravings with honey, cocoa almond spread, or fleur de sel caramel sauce.
In the frozen section, Trader Joe’s stocks a variety of croissants including plain mini croissants and larger almond or chocolate croissants you can stick in the oven for that fresh-from-the-bakery crisp outer layer.
Quiche is a quintessential brunch staple. It’s the ultimate breakfast-meets-lunch dish, creating an easy (and delicious) way to serve eggs to a group. If you’re feeling ambitious, Trader Joe’s has everything you need to make a quiche from scratch, including frozen pie crusts if you want to make things easier on yourself. But if you’re pressed for time (or if you want the experts to do the heavy lifting), you can pick up a pre-made frozen quiche. Trader Joe’s has a few options to choose from, including the mini quiche duo, which comes in a package of 12 bite-sized quiches in two flavors: swiss cheese and mushroom or bacon and sweet onion. There are also two full-sized quiche flavors: mushroom and spinach or a traditional quiche Lorraine made with ham and cheese.
For another savory tart option without eggs, try the tarte au brie et aux tomates, a flat, thin-crust pastry similar to pizza topped with brie and roasted tomatoes.
Whichever savory dish you choose, you can serve it alongside a simple arugula salad tossed with a homemade dijon vinaigrette.
Even with pastries on the menu, it’s nice to round out any meal with a bite of something sweet. Trader Joe’s has a huge selection of French-inspired desserts, so you can opt for a show-stopping finale like individual chocolate lava cakes served with ice cream, or keep things a bit simpler with their boozy macarons. If bite-sized chocolate is more your style, you can put out a bowl of chocolate-covered almonds or cocoa truffles.
Depending on your location, Trader Joe’s may offer a selection of local beers and ciders, like the Wolffer Estate Rose Cider from New York–a crisp, pale pink cider that makes any meal feel like a special occasion. And in California stores, you can even browse imported French wines. But no matter where you’re shopping, you can always stock up on cold-pressed orange juice to mix with champagne–no brunch is complete without mimosas.